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Nandog's Naturals: delicious artisan granola from San Diego

Nandog's Naturals artisan granola
Nandog's Naturals artisan granola
Teresa Bergen

Granola fanatics love to try new brands. If you like such healthful ingredients as wildflower honey, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, shredded coconut, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, flax meal, blueberries and sea salt, you might want to try Nandog’s Naturals. This small artisan granola made in San Diego isn't available yet in Portland stores, but you can buy it direct from the manufacturer. Nancy Peritz describes in the following interview how her one-woman granola business was born.

When did you start Nandog?

Peritz: Nandog's was unofficially started in May, 2012, but officially in June, 2013.

Why did you decide to make granola?

Peritz: I have always liked to bake and cook. I started making granola about eight years ago when I needed to bring something for "healthy snack" to my daughter's first grade class. I also showed them how to make it and it was a huge hit.

Fast forward six years and my other daughter needed a way to fundraise for a high school community service trip to the Dominican Republic. Her friends were always stealing her granola out of her lunch, so I told her we could make it and sell it to friends and family. People bought and bought, and I think I ended up making 200 pounds of granola that summer. Once she had reached her fundraising goal, we closed the "factory," but people still kept asking me to make it for them.

Where do you sell your granola?

Peritz: Right now I am only selling at two local farmers' markets in San Diego: the Tuesday Pacific Beach market and the Saturday Little Italy Mercato. Little Italy has grown a lot and is now one of the largest and best markets in San Diego.

Any chance you’ll sell it online for those of us outside San Diego?

Peritz: I am working on getting it online, but for now, people just email me ( message me via Facebook and I can ship it anywhere in the U.S. I am also working on getting it on sites such as Etsy and I also work as a teacher, so it is a huge juggling act trying to find time to do everything. I never knew how much work running even such a tiny little business such as this can be.

What do you like best about the granola biz?

Peritz: I love working in the commercial kitchen I rent. I just get into a groove and bake. I also love all of the people I have met at the farmers' markets--both the customers and the other vendors. And finally, I like knowing that I make a product that is both healthy and delicious. This makes other people happy. I like to feed people, so this is one way to do it. I guess I could have dinner parties or brunches as my house, but then I'd have to clean my house!

Tell us a little more about your product and flavors.

Peritz: Go Nuts (oats, almonds, walnuts, honey, maple syrup, etc.); Seed You Later: Blueberry (oats, organic chia, organic flax, pepitas, sunflower seeds, organic agave, honey, etc.). All are naturally gluten free and veganish (vegan lite?), but I do not use certified gluten-free oats. High in fiber, no cholesterol, good source of Omega-3s, Omega-6s, magnesium, manganese, etc.

12 ounce bag is $9.75 or 2 for $18.

I am working on developing new flavors. Stay tuned!

Hopes for the future, business-wise?

Peritz: I have tons of ideas, but not sure which ones will take off. On a small, short-term scale, I would just like to get a website up and running where people could order online. I would also like to sell wholesale to local cafes and perhaps markets such as Whole Foods, but that would require a whole different business plan and some investment dollars. Bigger picture, I would love to have my products in airports because I always feel like healthy breakfast and snack options in airports are so terrible. Lunch and dinner items have improved a lot, but breakfast choices still tend to be bagels and muffins. I have this vision of little Nandog's kiosks in the airports selling granola-fruit-parfaits and acai bowls.

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